It's fair to say that everyone involved with the Cowgirls has emotions like that. Coach Jim Littell, a close friend of Budke's for years, had to take over the program while dealing with his own grief.
Oklahoma State won the WNIT title in 2012. Then last year, the Cowgirls made it back into the NCAA tournament, where they beat DePaul and then fell to Duke. This season, after tying for third in the Big 12, Oklahoma State lost a close game to Baylor 65-61 in the league tournament semifinals.
Another nail-biter followed in the Cowgirls' NCAA tournament first-round game, which they won 61-60 in overtime against Florida Gulf Coast. In the second round, Oklahoma State upset No. 4 seed Purdue on the Boilermakers' home court 73-66. Martin had one of the best games of her career against Purdue, leading Oklahoma State with 20 points and 20 rebounds.
As a freshman, Martin averaged 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds. This season, with the Cowgirls having lost forward Toni Young to graduation and the WNBA, everyone has had to pick up the slack -- especially in rebounding. Martin has led the way on the boards, averaging 8.8 rebounds to go with 12 points per game.
Now she and the Cowgirls are playing in Indiana again, this time against an even more powerful foe. For Martin, though, this is exactly the opportunity that she hoped for when she came to Oklahoma State.
Even if it did cost her a tooth along the way.